Given Latino teens’ inclination to seek help from peers, a promising avenue for intervention is the use of teens as peer educators to teach other teens about identifying and preventing dating violence.In addition, these teens can act as counselors who can link students with more formal sources of support, such as attorneys, police, and school personnel.
Researchers assessed the program’s immediate impact and longer-term impact (six months later) on student knowledge and judgments about dating violence, student propensity to seek help, and the level of victimization and dating violence experienced by students after the intervention.
The evaluation found that the intervention had modest but significant effects in three areas: student knowledge, attitudes about female-on-male violence, and attitudes about seeking help (see the table).
Improving legal knowledge about dating violence may be a promising prevention element and could encourage victims of dating violence to seek help.
The results also suggest that another way to strengthen interventions is to target teen attitudes about seeking and giving help.
Furthermore, most teens reported that they do not confide in or trust the adults in their social network.